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Reasons For Learning Poker Chip Tricks


Remember The Object of The Game

The object of poker is to win a lot of chips. This sounds obvious but some players lose sight of this. Some players try to win as many pots as possible regardless of the size of each pot. For example if we have 9 pots of $10 each and 1 pot of $90 then a single player might win 6 of the $10 pots and brag to his friends that he won more than half the pots in the session. However, his wins are only $60. The player who won the $90 pot may have only won one pot but he won $90. The point is that poker is about getting the most chips possible. This is not always the same as winning the most pots. Keeping your hands on the chips should help remind you that the game is about chips. If a pot gets bigger then usual then perhaps you should do everything possible to win it.

Intimidate Opponents

Players might react differently to you if they see you handling the chips like you've been around them all your life. They might respect your raises more, they might be more afraid of you. A big part of the game is about perception. Once you have the tricks under your belt you can choose when to use them and partially control your perception. If you want everyone to think you're a beginner you can choose not to do the poker chip tricks. However, if you want people to know that you've been around the game and around chips then you can use them when necessary.

Count Chips Without Being Noticed

It is usuall to your advantage to know how many chips you have, especially in tournaments. However, you are always being watched by your opponents so you may not want to count your chips while you are being watched. Performing chip tricks can be a subtle way of sizing up your chips if you know approximately how many chips are needed as you do each trick.

Stay Upbeat
Remember that as long as you still have chips in front of you then you are still alive. I've seen tournaments where the chip leader has a bad beat followed by a second consecutive hand which drops him from the tournament. Doing tricks with your current chips can help remind you that anytime you have chips in front of you, you are in the game.

Distract Opponents
You should frequently be profiling your opponents to pick up tells. Some of the best tells are when players don't realize they are being watched. If you pertend to be occupied with a poker chip trick you can watch players out of the corner of your eye whil performing the poker chip trick.

Chip Tricks During a Specific Hand
There was one hand that sticks out in my mind where chip tricks might have made a difference. I was doing chip tricks the entire hand. When it got down to the river I represented a flush even though I was only 4 to a flush. Everyone folded and it could be for a number of reasons. It could be because I was playing tight so they respected my raises. It could be because they feared me due to the way I had so many poker chip tricks which may have made them think I have a great deal of experience playing cards. It could be because no one else hit their hand so I thought I was bluffing but maybe I did have the best hand. It went down like this. I played $2 - $4 holdem at Commerce Casino on November 14, 2003 before going to the Laker - Pistons game at the Staples Center. Most of the players at my table played too many cards in my opinion. I was playing tight and aggressive. At one point I saw an opportunity to make my move. I was dealt poket kings in early position. I only looked at them one time. Once I saw they were both red, I knew I had a heart and a diamond. Often I see players looking at their hole cards over and over again. Mike Caro has a great book on poker tells. After reading his book I am especially aware of players checking their hole cards. If you know they are not acting then you can have an advantage by noticing when they do this. On this particular hand I knew I could look at my cards again, but it would only be for acting purposes. I was in early position and I didn't just call the $2 blind, I raised as I always do with pocket kings or aces on a limit table that is not short handed. Several players called my raise. Fortunately someone behind me raised. Had the table been tighter I may have been afraid of the player having pocket aces but that was not the case. I happily re-raised for several reasons. One reason is that hands like KK and AA lose value against multiple players, they are better as head-up hands. Another reason is that I felt noone had pokcet aces at this point so I had the best possible hand at this point. I wanted to punish some of the looser players for staying in with weaker hands. To my amazement most of the table stayed in. Fortunately the flop did not have any aces but it did have 2 diamonds. I didn't want to give someone holding 2 diamond hole cards the chance to semi-bluff without first having to think about me so I led out betting $2. Everyone called and we moved to the turn. Again the turn was not a diamond and not an ace. I bet again hoping to punish anyone waiting around for that third diamond on board and everyone called. The river card came and it was just what I did not want to see, a third diamond. At this point I remembered something David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth talk about in their Advanced Holdem book. They emphasize that once pots get big enough players should do everything possible to win it. I knew if anyone held pocket diamonds then I was dead but I figured I would represent it in early position and see what happens. The bet only cost me $4 so I went for it hoping that everyone would put ME on pocket diamonds. Fortunately everyone folded and the pot was mine. The pot was over $50 and I was happy to take it. As I was getting ready to gather the chips I did something that Mike Sexton probably would not like. He is always scolding players for showing cards during the World Poker Tournament but I showed the King of Diamonds just for fun. I don't know if the poker chip tricks made a difference but I was happy to take down that huge pot with just a pair of kings when there were 3 diamonds on board and many players involved.

Top 21 Reasons To Do Poker Chip Tricks During Blackjack
  • 21. It can show other players that you are used to being around poker chips. How many times have you played with someone too talkative at third base who blames all his losses on other players? When players like this see you handling chips like a pro they are less likely to say something stupid to you.
  • 20. It can help relieve stress.
  • 19. It can help earn respect from the pit boss. This is important if you are trying to get comps.
  • 18. Memory Recognition - when your hands are physically on the chips, you can mentally get in the right frame of mind for gambling.
  • 17. To stay awake. You want to stay sharp even if the cards and hands have boring stretches.
  • 16. To keep the dealer honest. Most dealers are honest but just in case you happen to be at a table with a dealer who occasionally takes advantage of tourists, you want to show him or her that you are not one to mess with.
  • 15. To make sure you have enough chips. You always want extra chips. You don't want to be in a situation where you spend your last chips on a hand like 6,5 versus a dealer 6. You always want chips available for doubling down and splitting.
  • 14. Focus. Sometimes the conversations and other distractions can knock you off balance. You always want your hands near chips so that you remember the purpose of the game.
  • 13. Comfort. Good gamblers are comfortable and in control. By easily manipulating the chips, you make yourself feel at ease and others pick up on this.
  • 12. Tips. The waitress should see that you have chips in your hand so you are not one of those customers that cannot tip because all the chips are on the table.
  • 11. Dealer Respect. You want the dealer to respect you so that he is on your side for borderline situations like giving you deeper penetration into the deck, reminding the pit boss how long you've been there, letting you play at the same level the table was when you first sat down and other situations.
  • 10. Conversation. When others see you handling chips they often ask questions. This gives you the option of striking up a conversation if you are in the mood.
  • 09. Poker Information. Others will often ask you if you play poker and give you information as to where the best games can be found.
  • 08. Confidence. It doesn't hurt to remind yourself that you have done research before sitting at the table. You want to control the chips and remind yourself that in the long run blackjack is less about luck and more about your control of making the correct basic strategy decisions and knowing when there are favorable betting situations.
  • 07. Player Cheats. Other players will see that you are not a sucker when they see you handling the chips. They will think twice before trying to take advantage of you.
  • 06. Anger Management. How many times have you had 20 with a dealer showing 5 or 6 only to lose? It happens to everyone and you want to make sure that you handle your emotion when things get crazy.
  • 05. Respect of Friends. Your friends will see that you are comfortable around poker chips.
  • 04. Sense of Control. Bad gamblers will rely on luck whereas you remind yourself of what really matters in the long run.
  • 03. People Passing By. Show others that you know how to handle poker chips and they should take notice.
  • 02. Attract Attention. Sometimes it is hard to get a waitress for a drink but if you stand out then it can be easier.
  • 01. It looks cool and it is fun.
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